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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
Here's a look at a key matchup in the Browns-Ravens game Sunday:
Browns CBs Eric Wright, Sheldon Brown and Joe Haden vs. Ravens WRs Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and T.J. Houshmandzadeh
The Ravens' respected WR trio of Boldin, Mason and Houshmandzadeh was held in check by the Bengals in Week Two. Boldin caught 5-of-8 passes thrown to him by QB Joe Flacco, but he accumulated only 35 yards receiving. Mason got open for a 31-yard TD pass — Baltimore's lone score of the game — but that was his lone catch out of six targets. And Houshmandzadeh, who has one catch in two games with Baltimore, was held without a reception despite having six passes thrown his way.
The Bengals just did not allow the Ravens' wide receivers to get much going downfield; the Ravens had just four receptions of 10 yards or more from their wideouts. However, the Ravens had some success stretching the field in Week One at the Jets, and QB Joe Flacco has shown he can throw a nice deep ball.
That said, the Ravens' receivers are most effective on shorter routes. Baltimore could test the middle of the Browns' defense after Kansas City attacked that area with some success in Week Two.
The Browns' cornerbacks have generally played well this season, but this is the best group of receivers they have faced. It will not be a surprise if the Ravens test Haden, who surrendered a 33-yard TD pass from QB Josh Freeman to Micheal Spurlock at Tampa Bay in Week One.